Verdict from 7 experts and +100 user reviews

6 reasons to buy

  • The traction capacity of the Merrell Trail Glove 5’s outsole unit was deemed efficient by several testers; they stated that they didn’t experience any slippage during their runs on the trails.
  • Some consumers reported that the upper was snug but non-restrictive; they felt secure and well-supported while wearing this running shoe.
  • A few people noted that the color schemes were eye-catching; they claimed that the visuals were stylish.
  • The lightweight structure of this minimalist shoe was highly appreciated.
  • Some testers stated that the Merrell Trail Glove 5 remained useful during activities that didn’t involve running, like urban walks and light exercises on groomed trails.
  • The shoe is affordable.

2 reasons not to buy

  • Some users found the collar to be too high, which made a portion of the interior rub uncomfortably against the skin.
  • The shoe's sole unit is too stiff, according to a couple of wearers.

Bottom line

Praise was dutifully given to the 5th version of Merrell Trail Glove because it was able to meet the expectations of consumers, particularly those who desire a trail running shoe that doesn’t have a bulky frame or a restricting design. The versatility and effectiveness of this product’s components became highlights, with some people even claiming that they were able to use it on the roads. On the other hand, a handful of runners felt that the available sizes for this neutral shoe were more substantial than their usual choices.

Tip: see the best trail running shoes.

Good to know

  • The Merrell Trail Glove 5 is part of the roster of trail running shoes that have graced the marketplaces. This product is made for those who appreciate a low-to-the-ground and highly flexible running experience as it doesn’t employ many bells and whistles. It is also lightweight and shaped to accommodate the natural movement capacity of the foot.
  • The surface grip is the responsibility of the Vibram outsole. It is thin yet rated to be abrasion-resistant and long-lasting. Mild claw-like patterns grace the surface of this pad, giving extra adhesion where it is needed.
  • The façade of this minimalist trail running shoe is made of multilayered but breathable mesh. A net-like structure holds the foot in place while also welcoming air into the foot-chamber. Though printed overlays are used to bolster the structural integrity of the upper, there are stitched-on loops on the instep to receive the ghillie lacing system.
  • An anti-microbial capacity is introduced to the interior sleeve. The purpose of this feature is to prevent odor-causing bacteria from fostering and affecting the health of the foot. It is accompanied by a fabric that is equally as breathable as the exterior mesh.
  • The outsole design involves a curved shoe-shape, a close-to-the-ground platform design and a raised midfoot construction for the comfort of the arch.

The outsole unit of the Merrell Trail Glove 5 is made of Vibram TC5+, a rubber compound that covers the entire cushioned platform. Its job is to protect against wear-and-tear, as well as to provide traction over the uneven surfaces.

Mild gripping lugs and traction patterns are fashioned all over the surface of the external pad. These mild protrusions, while designed to dole out ground adhesion, aren’t very aggressive so they won’t cause imbalances in movement. Such a design is also friendly for flat areas like asphalt.

A flex groove separates sections the forefoot from the rest of the platform. This seemingly shallow trench is also created to heighten the flexing capacity of the platform, thereby enabling the foot to bend naturally as it gears toward the toe-off.

An ultra-thin foam is used for the midsole unit of the Merrell Trail Glove 5. This feature is meant to cushion the landings and bring a bit of oomph to the forefoot lifts. Its thinness also entails that it is lightweight and flexible.

The TrailProtect technology is a rock plate that is placed between the midsole and outsole. This barrier shields against irregular surfaces and sharp trail debris, thus saving the foot from potential injury and improving the confidence when traversing the outdoor paths.

An insole is fused with the primary cushioning unit. It is designed to give a soft and comfortable underfoot experience, one that obstructs the flat and board-like feel of the shoe-last.

The external part of the Merrell Trail Glove 5’s upper unit uses multi-layered mesh. This textile’s net-like structure and layered approach prevent trail rubbish from entering the foot-chamber. The small breathing holes that stem from such a design allows air to flow through the façade, thus ensuring a cool and dry running experience.

TPU overlays are printed on the sides, the heel and the high-wear areas of the upper. These thin prints help to bolster durability and enable a snug and secure in-shoe wrap. They also heighten the aesthetics by having various color schemes and visual patterns.

A ghillie lacing system is employed in this running shoe. This arrangement involves flat laces snaking through stitched-on loops that serve as the eyelets. When combined, these elements help with the tightening or loosening of the fit, acclimatizing to the preferences of the wearer.

The lightly padded tongue and collar are made to cushion the ankles, the heel and the bridge of the foot. These lined portions of the upper are also tasked with preventing in-shoe wobbling and unintentional shoe removals.

A printed heel counter aims to improve the lockdown fit. The word ‘MERRELL’ is emblazoned on the lateral side while ‘BAREFOOT 2’ is placed on the medial section. While the former encourages brand recognition, the latter informs the person that this shoe has a foot-shaped design with a raised midfoot portion and a low heel-to-toe drop, signifying the purpose of providing a near-barefoot running experience.

Rankings

How Merrell Trail Glove 5 ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 28% trail running shoes
All trail running shoes
Top 19% Merrell running shoes
All Merrell running shoes
Top 40% minimalist running shoes
All minimalist running shoes

Popularity

The current trend of Merrell Trail Glove 5.
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Author
Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.

jens@runrepeat.com